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Inside the GPO 1916: a first-hand account by Joe Good

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Inside the GPO 1916: a first-hand account by Joe Good
The O’Brien Press, 2015

This first-hand account of the 1916 Rising and its aftermath brings alive the historic events that ushered in the beginnings of an independent Irish state. The memoir of footsoldier Joe Good gives the reader a real insight into Ireland's fight for freedom, from the inside.

Born in London to a London-Irish, working-class, anti-imperialist family, Good set foot on Irish soil for the first time in February 1916. He was one of the men who guarded the approach across O'Connell Bridge as the rebels took the centre of Dublin. He joined the garrison in the GPO, and describes at first hand the events of insurrection: the confusion, the heroism, and the tragedy of Easter Week. After the Rising, Joe Good worked as an organiser for the Volunteers. He was a close associate of Michael Collins and his portrait of Collins provides fresh insight into his character. In 1918 Good was one of a handpicked team sent to London to assassinate members of the British cabinet, and here he gives the first full account to be published of this extraordinary expedition. Joe wrote his journal in 1946 for his son Maurice, who has now edited it for publication.

‘The value of this book is that … it is the narrative of a young soldier, rather than that of a leader. And in particular, the story of an English-born Volunteer who, perhaps because of his English background, has a more detached view of events unfolding around him … this book is to be greatly welcomed and fills in the little details’

‘The book’s centrepiece, and finest part, is a vivid, almost ‘camera verité’ account of the Rising itself’ Irish Independent